30 years ago on a warm May morning (long, long ago...) in Southern California (far, far away...), we stood in line for almost three hours to buy tickets and watch the very first Star Wars movie. The wait was frustrating, and frankly there were a few moments when we almost gave up our place in line thinking that no movie could possibly be worth the long, boring wait.
Boy, were we wrong. Over the next 2 hours and 5 minutes our lives, and eventually the lives of countless other men, women, and children all over the globe, were radically changed and enriched. One of the most influential characters in that life altering movie was a small robot, packed to the brim with personality and unique character - R2D2. This afternoon, Saturday here in Japan, we had a great time playing with our old robot friend and reliving lots of great Star Wars memories.
Of course, we didn't have a real R2D2 here, or even a full sized model. However, what we did have to play with was a special R2D2 MicroDroid, complete with battle damage, created by the wizards at Takara/Tomy, the famous Japanese toy company located in Tokyo.
'MicroDroid', as it says in Japanese on the robot's package, is definitely the appropriate description since the R2D2 robot is only slightly taller than one of our thumbs (we have big hands by the way). Nevertheless, the attention to detail and accuracy is really obvious.
And, surprisingly, the robot captures a lot of R2D2's character and energy. It rotates, moves forward and back, rotates its head, has a LED designed into the camera/eye section of the robot, and even sounds exactly like the R2D2 we all have known and loved for the past three decades.
This model is the 'battle' version and includes all the scratches, bumps, and discoloration of the original before Luke Skywalker repaired it. The robot comes with a matching remote control that allows you to interactively control it's movements and actions.
The robots power switch is located low on the back of it's body and designed not to interfere with the overall effect and realism.
The three feet contain small wheels to propel the robot. The center leg rotates for turning.
The IR remote control looks just like a light saber.
Package front - the yellow sticker explains that this is the 30th anniversary 'battle damage' version. We were told that although it wasn't intended to be a 'limited' edition, the robot immediately sold out all available units as soon as it was released for sale.
Takara/Tomy Star Wars Products Website (Japanese)
Takara/Tomy Website (Japanese)